5 years ago

Volume 10 Issue 7 - April 2005

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DISCS OF THE MONTH snowfall!). Run out and get this brilliant CD immediately! Tiina Kiik Their new CD consists of two separate compositions by Canadian composer Christos Hatzis NOW AVAILABLE ON CD Bach - Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord, Vol.1 James Ehnes; Luc Beausejour Analekta AN 2 9829 Like his contemporaries during the early Baroque, J.S. Bach took an interest in the trio sonata, a form developed out of a desire to write for the violin and harpsichord, two new instruments that emerged during this period. Even though Bach wrote trio sonatas for other combinations, it is the four violin and harpsichord sonatas (BWV 1014-1017) that the brilliant Canadian instrumentalists James Ehnes and Luc Beausejour feature in this release. Bach's compositions are so perfectly designed that even the most amateur performer will have an acceptable performance, even i.n transcriptions on instruments not yet available during the Baroque era. In the hands of Ehnes and Beausejour however, the perfect performers meet the perfect compositions. They soar through their performances with a musical maturity beyond their years. Even though each sonata has the same form of four contrasting movements, slow-fast-slow-fast, the duo never succumbs to musical drudgery - each movement within each sonata makes a moving and unique statement. Born in Brandon, Manitoba, violinist James Ehnes is a Canadian musical treasure. The liner notes provide his extensive musical resume. He is an exceptional talent whose honest musicality comes from a place that leaves me in awe. His approach to Bach here is to be heard time and time again. Harpsichordist Luc Beausejour has his own stellar musical resume - his accompaniment is unwavering in its sensitivity and support. James Ehnes and Luc Beausejour perform with such a flawless technique, intertwined contrapuntal chamber playing and limitless musicality that I was oblivious to everything (including yet another mid-March Toronto Concert Note: James Ehnes performs with the Toronto Symphony on April 19 and 20. Luc Beausejour performs "Concerti for One and Two Harpsichords" with Olivier Fortin at Glenn Gould Studio on April 5. Devienne - Bassoon Quartets Mathieu Lussier ATMA ACD2 2364 I don't know if most classical music listeners realize how blessed we are in Canada with top-notch bassoonists. We have Chris Millard, Nadina Mackie Jackson, Michael Sweeney and the Caliban Quartet, and all of them have released superb recordings within the past few years. ls there room for another? Of course there is. Add Mathieu Lussier to our list of illustrious bassoonists. Lussier is an active performer in early music with such groups as Les Violons du Roy and Tafelmusik. He's also quite an accomplished composer. I was previously familiar with Lussier's works for solo bassoon and bassoon quartet, and they are wonderful pieces. The works on this CD include three quartets by Franois Devienne ( 17 59 - 1803) for bassoon and strings, plus two arrangements by Lussier. Devienne's bassoon concerto in Bb is skillfully reduced for the quartet, as are a pair of excerpts from Devienne's comic opera Les Visitandines. I cannot stress how enjoyable it is to hear Lussier's gorgeous bassoon sound beautifuUy balanced by the strings of Olivier Thou in, Jean­ Luc Plourde and Benoit Loiselle. I want morel My hat is off once again to ATMA Classique - this Canadian label is putting out some of the best produced chamber music I've heard in recent years. Merlin Williams 82 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM APRIL 1 - MAY 7 2005

__ NEW 3 ExcZTZNG RELEASES FROM UNIERSQL CLASSICS _ __ SECRET GARDEN EARTH SONGS Secret Garden fuse their traditional Celtic/Nordic roots with a modern edge. Renowned for their energy as well as their luscious melodies, they produce music that both calms and stimulates. Available April 12th.

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